The Londoner: Alexandra Shulman pens new Devil Wears Prada

Sartorial happenings are underway: Alexandra Shulman (Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images): Dave Benett/Getty Images

The Devil is back and, it turns out, is still wearing Prada. Alexandra Shulman, the former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, is writing a fictional TV series about the shenanigans at a monthly fashion magazine.

Shulman has teamed up with Fiona Golfar, her former editor-at-large, and production company Bad Wolf to create Gold Dust Nation. It will be set in the Nineties and, according to Deadline, will shine “a light on a country emerging from grunge and recession to a new world of [Tony] Blair and Prada. It will highlight how the world of New Labour, Britpop and the dotcom boom are about to set the world alight against a background of new feminism, body image, age discrimination, diversity and substance abuse through the eyes of the fashion world.”

Indeed, Vogue came under criticism during Shulman’s 25-year tenure for a lack of diversity in the magazine.

The drama is Shulman’s first attempt at TV fiction. She may have learned something from her appearance in the BBC documentary Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue, although viewers noted a certain reticence on her part to engage with the camera crew.

“Between us, Alexandra and I have seen it all,” Golfar teases. “From the boardroom to the bedroom.”

Shulman is more vague. “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to bring to life the realities of the world of fashion publishing in a series that will have total authenticity”, she says in an announcement made by the production company last night. “We will be able to showcase the real issues and real stories that occur when you combine huge creativity with human emotions and dilemmas set in a backdrop of the changing times of recent history.”

It is not known how the current Vogue team feels about the news but it’s worth remembering that no Condé Nast publication even mentioned The Devil Wears Prada, the book and film based on US Vogue, when it was released.


Hard-up Jezza to say it with roses

Jeremy Corbyn is rebranding New Labour’s Thousand Club as the “Rose Network” in a bid to attract new donors to the Labour Party in what has been an expensive year. Since Corbyn’s ascension to leader in 2015, Thousand Club membership has dropped from 764 to 437 (thereby slashing £1.2 million of donations in half). A promotional video describes the name change as an attempt “to better reflect the integral role this network has played and will continue to play in our party”. It offers a range of membership packages costing from £100 to £416 per month.


Robert Rinder, TV judge and Strictly alumnus, will host a Holocaust series commissioned by the BBC after Who Do You Think You Are? revealed his family’s wartime past. Rinder revealed this during a mid-dinner Q&A at this week’s JW3 fundraiser, at which he said: “I’m in the oy vey slot between the starter and the main course.”


Rupert Everett has revealed the best colleague and co-star of his 30-year career: himself. Was it difficult “directing” himself through the intimate and emotional scenes of The Happy Prince, the biopic about Oscar Wilde he wrote and acted in? “No, I liked it,” he tells The Londoner. “I enjoyed working with me.”

Apple's core business

Gwyneth Paltrow’s difficulty getting in touch with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — “I’ve emailed him,” she told The Wall Street Journal, “he won’t email back” — reminds The Londoner that some people are never ignored.

Barbra Streisand, Oscar-winning actor and singer, used to call Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO, every time her computer was on the blink. More recently, she contacted his successor Tim Cook, taking issue with how Siri pronounced her surname. “It should be ‘Streisand’ with a soft s, like sand on the beach,’” she told him. It was subsequently amended in a 2016 software update.

Colour Clash: Jamie Winstone (Photo: Dave Benett/Getty)

Jaime Winstone was a glamorous bull in a china shop yesterday, trying on all the clothes at Gucci on Sloane Square. The actor was among guests at a celebratory breakfast to mark the fifth anniversary of the Lady Garden Foundation.


Part of a

John Woodcock MP basks in the glory of his other half, The Spectator’s Isabel Hardman, who won best book by a non-parliamentarian at Monday’s Parliamentary Book Awards. “Even on the way here someone said she’s too good for me,” Woodcock (below) told us. Asked how he felt at being described as a Westminster “power couple”, the MP gushed: “Power couple implies both having power. Isabel is the award-winning ace political journalist, and me — I’m just tagging along”.


From sources close to the Cabinet Office we hear measures are being drawn up to revoke Article 50 in the case of utter political chaos: namely, the ousting of the Prime Minister. Senior civil servants, we are told, are preparing plans to avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal if the PM were to go, allowing a hypothetical new prime minister time to decide a new Brexit strategy. Enquires elicit a cagey response, but no denial.

Boris and co put faith in dim sum

Taiwanese treats at Din Tai Fung, Covent Garden: Boris Johnson, Yang Chi Hua, George Quek and Stephen Fry (Photo: Dave Benett/Getty) (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Din)

Does the former Foreign Secretary have a future on Celebrity MasterChef? Boris Johnson, often compared to a dumpling, got his hands dirty making some at the opening of Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung yesterday. His arrival was greeted by a mob baying for selfies.

“It’s just a thing that’s become part of the job,” Johnson admitted as he ruffled his hair and grinned.

George Quek, Boris Johnson, Mr Yang Chi Hua and Ms Katherine Lee attend the UK launch of Din Tai Fung (Dave Benett)

Like a model? “Quite.” Are there any circumstances that he would vote for Theresa May’s deal? “No.”

Performers at the launch of the restaurant in Covent Garden (Dave Benett)

Also making small balls of dough was Stephen Fry, while actor Rupert Everett, presenter June Sarpong and cosmetic queen Charlotte Tilbury were entertained by topless drummers (male) banging gongs. “I think it should become the new brunch,” Fry declared of dim sum: “When I lived in New York it was a tradition to have dim sum every Sunday.

We would all head down to Chinatown as a sort of replacement for church.”

Quote of the Day

Leaving number 10: Theresa May (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

‘I’m in the studio answering questions which is more than Jeremy Corbyn does’

Theresa May takes a swipe at Corbyn on today, despite rarely appearing on the programme herself